Minding your PAU: How 3 key metrics drive payments growth

Payments drive revenue, relationships, profitability and trust. Increasingly, they are the epicenter of your relationship with members as a key driver of preferred financial institution (PFI) status. But growing your credit and debit portfolios can be challenging, especially without focus. Three commonly-used metrics — penetration, activation and usage (PAU) — can provide that focus. By developing key strategies in these three areas, you have the opportunity to add more cards, activate cards quickly, and increase card usage to grow revenue.

Now is an ideal opportunity to contemplate portfolio growth. Why? Both debit and credit have momentum — and for different reasons. Consider these growth-related facts:

  • Debit is the number one payment method by transaction volume, accounting for 69.5 percent of U.S. transactions. Debit is in constant use and it defines the relationship between financial institutions and their most committed customers.
  • Credit use is on the rise. In its “2019 Outlook: U.S. Credit Cards” report Mercator Advisory Group projects a record number of open credit card accounts – 480 million – and record revolving debt of $1.10 trillion for 2019.


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